The failed conversion deflated the Tar Heel offense, and it showed.
The next two possessions for UNC ended with costly turnovers, including Trubisky’s first interception of the season — which snapped a school record of 243 straight passing attempts without an interception.
Logan’s run, which looked like a sign of things to come, ended up as UNC’s second-longest play of the game. The team’s biggest gain — a 23-yard Logan run — didn’t come until the waning seconds of the third quarter.
But by then, the Tar Heels were already down by 24 in their eventual 34-3 loss to No. 25 Virginia Tech (4-1, 2-0 ACC).
“We just didn’t make the plays that we were supposed to make, down the field or in the run game,” Logan said. “I didn’t feel like we ever clicked tonight.”
The No. 17 Tar Heels (4-2, 2-1 ACC) finished with their worst offensive outing in the Larry Fedora era. North Carolina only managed 58 yards passing on Saturday and 131 yards of total offense — its lowest output since 1999 — and failed to score a touchdown for the first time since Fedora took over as head coach in 2012.
Just like in the opening drive, UNC’s offense struggled to move the sticks throughout the game, finishing a combined 2-for-18 on third and fourth down. Unable to keep their drives alive, the Tar Heels couldn’t build momentum or find a rhythm offensively.
But that was only the beginning of UNC’s offensive woes.
North Carolina faced a tough Virginia Tech defense and even tougher weather conditions on Saturday. Playing in a heavy downpour and gusting winds from Hurricane Matthew, the players were visibly disturbed.
Dropped balls and poorly-thrown passes plagued UNC offensively, but neither crippled the team as much as turnovers.
“We knew going into this game, with the situation the way it was, that it was going to boil down to who took care of the football,” Fedora said. “And we did not do that.”
The Tar Heels committed four turnovers — two fumbles and two interceptions — which Virginia Tech converted into 20 points. And North Carolina’s sloppiness on offense put pressure on the defense to come up with a stop on almost every possession.
The Tar Heel offense repeatedly left the defense pinned near its own end zone, giving the Hokies short field position. And time after time, Virginia Tech turned a short field into points.
“You can’t put your defense in that kind of position and expect to win football games,” Fedora said.
After letting the game get out of hand, the Tar Heels continued searching for something to spark their offense, and maybe even spark a comeback.
But in the end, the UNC offense never posed a threat.